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Cost of painting a 18' aluminum boat? worth it?


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Just wondering if anyone has had their small aluminum crafts painted.

I'm probably going to end up with a 18' Legend that has tons of "dock rash"

I know wraps are a option but have seen a lot of bad reviews and only last a few seasons.

Not going for a cool design or anything, just plain color with logo decals replaced.

Something tells me this will cost higher than the value of the boat...

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I did my vintage Mirrocraft tinner about 4 summers ago. It was a scraped up Mirro puke green if you are familiar. Prep work goes a LONG way. I sanded down to bare aluminum best I could. Than tack clothed and alcohol wiped the entire thing to eliminate any possible contaminants. Next step was a couple coats of a self etching primer. Than I chose a hunter green crappy tire marine paint( frustratingly thick and takes ages to cure so patience is a good thing)but the quality, price and final finish I Ioved... New numbers, factory decals and constantly messing with interior setups and it's been good to go. It gets a yearly coat of marine wax if it's lucky and the paint had a very nice natural gloss. After 4 summers of trailering & launching +/-3 days a week and jumping waves to 60' at Port Stanley it has held up great. If you are only doing above the original paint line it should be fine. If you envision doing the entire boat it will probably be a hell of a job. I had the luxury of flipping my light utility boat over with a few guys help. A friend of mine re-did the same boat 2 summers ago as he liked mine. Didn't do the prep and used a home Depot acryllic in similar color. It is already completely peeling in spots...


Edited by steellee
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I investigated the cost in 2018 to paint my 18 footer in good shape with sun fade. There where no major scratches and I got quoted from $3500 to $4K.  I ended up having it wrapped in 2019 at a cost of $1300 for a simple wrap.  It held up very well and looked great other than a few stone chips or dock marks when I sold it in August.  I would absolutely do it again, but hopefully my new boat won’t need it for a long time.

Edited by porkpie
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